April 6, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
Coming off of a dramatic series victory at Mississippi State last weekend in Starkville, Miss., in which the baseball team had to rally twice to score victories, Auburn returns home for five games this week beginning Tuesday at 6pm CT against Georgia State.
Auburn (20-10, 6-6 SEC) has collected 10 come-from-behind victories this season. Friday night saw Auburn facing a three-run deficit in the ninth before winning 9-8 while on Sunday Auburn fell behind 8-2 after four innings only to rally to win 12-10 to claim its first series victory in Starkville since 2003. The long ball played a big part of both wins as Joseph Sanders hit a tie-breaking, three-run home run in the ninth on Friday and Tony Caldwell hit two on Sunday, including the fourth in Auburn's four-homer fifth. Auburn has now tallied 64 home runs this year, which stands as the fourth-most in school history.
Auburn will send Fr. RHP Dexter Price (3-0, 4.68) to the mound for Tuesday's game against Georgia State while the Panthers (19-9, 4-2 CAA) will counter with Sr. RHP John Locklear (4-1, 5.66).
Auburn has won its last 12 straight non-conference games but will be playing its first non-conference game since winning 18-7 at Samford on Tuesday, March 24 after having last week's mid-week game against South Alabama rained out.
Tuesday night is Two Dollar Tuesday and all tickets are just $2 while Wednesday's game against Bethune-Cookman is Fan Appreciation Day and admission is free.
The Bethune-Cookman game begins at 6pm CT and was added to the schedule late in March to replace the game Auburn lost with Florida State due to snow.
Georgia State Panthers (19-9, 4-2 CAA) at Auburn Tigers (20-10, 6-6 SEC)
Tuesday, April 7 Plainsman Park Auburn, AL
Radio: WKKR-FM 97.7 TV: none
Apr. 7 vs. Georgia State Sr. RHP John Locklear (4-1, 5.66) vs. Fr. RHP Dexter Price
ANOTHER RUNG CLIMBED: So. C. Tony Caldwell's second home run on Sunday at Mississippi State brought the team total up to 64 home runs in just 30 games ... Auburn needs to hit eight more home runs to become just the fourth Auburn team to hit 70-or-more in a season ... Auburn is averaging 2.13 home runs per game this year and has hit at least one home run in all but six games this season, five of which have come in SEC play.
NIGHT MOVES: Auburn is 9-2 in night games this season, hitting .304 at night with 21 home runs and 94 RBI ... The pitching staff has a 4.49 ERA at night which is a run-and-a-half lower than the staff ERA of 5.97 ... Auburn lost its first night game of the season at No. 5 Florida State on Feb. 26 and then won eight straight before falling on Friday, March 27 to Vanderbilt ... Auburn is averaging 9.0 runs per game at night and surrendering just 5.8.
COMEBACK KIDS: Of Auburn's 20 wins this season, 10 of them have featured Auburn comebacks, eighth of which came after the fifth inning ... The latest come-from-behind win was Sunday's 12-10 win over Mississippi State, which Auburn trailed 8-2 going into the top of the fifth.
AT THE PLATE
STAT LINE: Auburn is sixth in the SEC with a .303 batting average with So. OF Trent Mummey holding the highest average on the team at .368, 9th in the SEC ... Auburn's 247 runs scored is fourth in the SEC with Mummey pacing the team and the league with 48 runs scored.
CALDWELL CLIMBING: So. C Tony Caldwell has raised his batting average 137 points since March 13 at Tennessee to .323 following Sunday's game at Mississippi State ... During the 15-game since, Caldwell is hitting .434 (23-for-53) with four doubles, four home runs, 14 runs scored and 15 RBI ... The everyday catcher since opening day with Sr. Ryan Jenkins out with a hand injury, he has already thrown out 16 of 41 base stealers (39 percent) while only being charged with three passed balls.
HIGH-FIVES: So. IF Hunter Morris and So. OF Trent Mummey carry team-best five-game hitting streaks into Tuesday's game with Georgia State ... Morris is 8-for-22 (.364) with three doubles and a home run while Mumey is 6-for-19 (.316) with a double and two home runs.
SANDERS' RIBBIES: Jr. IF Joseph Sanders leads Auburn and enters the week third in the SEC with 42 RBI, 10 behind SEC leader Rich Poythress (53) ... Sanders has already surpassed his freshman year RBI total of 33 in 45 games and needs just 11 more to surpass his team-leading total of 52 from 2008, done in 50 games ... To break into Auburn's single-season top 10, he would need to finish the year with at least 72 RBI ... At his current pace of 1.40 RBI per game, he would finish the year with 78.
AUBURN SLUGGOS: Auburn's .571 slugging percentage is ranked second in the SEC, behind only Alabama's .595 ... The Auburn school record for slugging percentage is .539 in 1998, which is one of just three years in which Auburn had a slugging percentage above .500 (1997 and 1985 are the others) ... So. OF Trent Mummey leads the team with a .786 slugging percentage, hitting nine doubles, two triples and 12 home runs ... He enters the week ranked fourth in the SEC.
ON THE MOUND
STAT LINE: Auburn is 11th in the SEC with a 5.97 ERA and is the only staff in the league allowing oppenents to hit over .300 against them (.327) ... The staff also ranks 10th in the league in strikeouts (242) and is tied for sevenh in walks allowed (104).
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